Tuesday, May 31, 2016

An Open Apology

There are tens of things that need my attention. MWS's Doppler is on the fritz. Some business owners have closed shop for a summer retreat. MOP writers are on strike, and MAM is being renovated. Before fulfilling my pressing mayoral duties, I must apologize to my Thunder teammates for my performance in the last two games of the NBA Western Conference Finals.

Regular Season

I was a consistent cheerer during regular season games, averaging around 79% for TV viewership, 88% in t-shirt wearing, and 98% on flag flying.

I did have some issues. I struggled to accept Steven Adams’ new look and Russell Westbrook’s longer hair.

The sunset uniforms were also a tad blinding for my taste, which is a surprise because I really do like that color, but I eventually adjusted and established a solid rhythm whether we played at the Peake or away.

Post Season

My cheer performance was operating like a well-oiled machine by the time we hit playoffs. I served up some rattlesnake jam for three games against the Mavericks, three against the Spurs, and all seven against Golden State Warriors. I also wrote haikus and bought my nephew a Thunder hat.

I took issue with our team’s behavior at the end of Game 2 against the Spurs. My contributions were minimal for the next two games. Had I put my personal opinion aside and prepared a Thunder-themed meal, we might not have lost Game 3.

I bounced back though because, if you care about your team, you pull yourself up. If you don’t, you’re just dead weight.

My performance against Golden State for the Western Conference Finals was a personal best. I believe the double-dredged fried pork chop with Thunder gravy helped us win Game 1 at the Oracle. 

After we lost Game 2, I amped up my efforts for Game 3 and 4 by making Thunder burgers and dogs, unfollowing two people who had posted negative comments, and not calling anyone who lived in California.

During the series I flag flew twice despite the threat of rain, and since we only have two flagpoles in Mooseville, the Thunder flag replaced Mooseville’s when the American flag also needed to be flown in honor of Memorial Day.

What Happened

Despite my solid cheer throughout the season, I’m not happy with my performance the last two games.

For Game 5, I wore a pair of Thunder shorts I haven’t worn since 2012 when we lost to Miami in the Finals. Unbeknownst to me, wearing these shorts was a flagrant foul. I’ve since burned the cursed garment, but the damage was done.

In Game 6 my cheer changed. Though I didn’t engage in negative comment-making on social media, I had several discussions regarding how well our team performed around the Yellow House.
I didn’t reprimand my mother when she questioned Thunder’s ability to win Game 7 via a text message.

I also thought ill of two Warrior players. It was wrong to wish physical harm to Klay Thompson just because he could hit a three-point shot…11 times. And, Steph Curry’s this year’s MVP. He’s so good he even out-cheered me.

Of all the ways I dropped the ball, the turnover that hurt most was arguing with my teammates. I shouted at them through the TV like they were people I see texting and driving. I cursed and questioned judgment. This display of negativity was a cancer for morale, and it was contagious.

Moving On

I’m going to work hard during the off season so I don’t repeat the same mistakes next year. I will work on my anger management skills to better trust and respect my teammates no matter if I agree with their choices on the court or not. I look forward to helping Thunder win it all in 2017. #WeAreThunder #ThunderUp

The Mayor, OKC Thunder Team Member

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Why Straight Men Love Katy Perry

I’ve watched several movies lately and have noticed that, among those targeted to a certain male demographic, many feature Katy Perry songs.

Okay maybe it was just The Interview and Horrible Bosses 2, but KP’s songs aren’t just played during opening credits or during transition scenes. They’re woven into the screenplay. She’s dialogue for the characters.

The Hub About KP

Since she’s pretty and has a nice body most straight men are going to notice Katy Perry, but I believe her likability goes beyond physical features. 

Here are six reasons why I think straight men love Katy Perry.

1. She’s one of the boys.  

She wants to see your peacock, builds forts out of sheets, belches the alphabet and would bring big balloons to your birthday party. She seems like a riot to have around.

2. She’s not gay, but she kissed a girl.   

It’s as shallow as basing your opinion on the size of her breasts, but many straight men love Katy Perry because of the trite two girl fantasy she openly admits to being curious about.

3. She’s a California gurl.

The Beach Boys are right. There’s something about California girls. They melt popsicles with their sun-kissed skin and lie under palm trees sipping gin and juice. Who doesn’t want to freak in KP’s Jeep with Snoop Doggy Dogg on the stereo?

4. She’s a firework.

She’s a dark horse who’s got the eye of the tiger and will call you out for a small penis. She’ll also tell you to suck it up when you’re broke and hung over in Vegas and then recommend you grow a pair and pick hot or cold.

5. She’s a teenage dream.

She’ll let you put your hands on her in skin-tight jeans and make out with you in your Mustang to Radiohead. She’ll make you go aah, aah, aah, and you’ll hear her roar. Plus, she’s open to sexual encounters with aliens. Sex and Sci-Fi is enough to give most straight men that hummingbird heartbeat.

6. She’s not like the movies.

In another life the one that got away would not have been such a dick, and Katy Perry would not have been treated like a plastic bag. 

Instead of whining publicly like T-Swift, KP buried herself deep where no one could hear her scream, but then after the hurricane came the rainbow and her likability among men soared.

First, the change in relationship status rekindled the hope that they'll beat the billion to none odds and get lucky with KP one random, crazy, blacked out blur of a Friday night.

Second, how KP and the waste of space’s relationship ended sparked the protector instinct. Men already like Katy Perry because she’s fun; flirty; sassy; well endowed; sings catchy songs about sex; and is brighter than the moon, moon, moon. Now, men have a chivalrous reason to kick a douche bag, British guy’s ass and then watch him circle the drain.

Friday, January 30, 2015

I Heart Self Checkout

A woman got upset with me today because I used self checkout with, what she viewed as, too big of a load.

"You really shouldn't use this with that much stuff," she said.

"Thank you," I said, pushing my bulging buggy up to an available kiosk to start the self checkout process.

I don't feel bad for using self checkout no matter how many items I have. Sure, I'll let someone with one or two things go in front of me if there aren't any open "stalls" because I'm not an asshole, but that wasn't the case today when I got the verbal scolding. There were plenty of lanes open, so what's it to that lady?

I have no shame about it. I love self checkout because I have OCD tendencies, and I like to organize things neatly into bags. Deal with it. I am.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Deep Thoughts: My Role As A Teacher

I believe a teacher’s role in the classroom can be explained with this short video capturing one of life’s biggest moments.

Supplemental Text

After years of reflection about what it is I’m supposed to be doing as a teacher, I have concluded that my role is to put students on a path, push them in the right direction, and let them figure it out on their own.

This job description might seem too simple because it can be said in one sentence. Simple doesn’t mean easy.

Weebles Wobble
As the video demonstrates, once students have been pointed in the right direction and given a nudge, the teacher must then watch as they try to figure it out. This is the most difficult, and rewarding, process for a teacher.

Watching students figure it out can be discomforting. All the wobbling makes you dizzy, but it’s important for a teacher not to hover and hold hands. Otherwise, students won’t learn.

You shouldn’t have time to hold hands anyway. As a teacher you’re too busy watching out for the real learning inhibitors. If you let one of those through, it’ll topple the whole learning process.


Learning inhibitors are difficult to catch for a teacher who’s on their A-game, and they’re impossible to stop for those slacking on the job.

Contrary to student perception failure isn’t a learning inhibitor. It’s often a requirement to learning how to do something on your own.

In the video the learning inhibitor was an excitable Frenchton named Mattie Rose, but in the classroom, learning inhibitors include things like an unsafe learning environment; memorization-based rubrics; limited ideas and resources; and the mother of all learning inhibitors, student and teacher attitude and effort levels.  

Lifelong Learning

It’s not my job to spoon-feed information, and it’s certainly not my job to hand out grades. It’s my job to teach students how to think for themselves and to encourage them through all the wobbles, stutters, and setbacks to do so long after they have left my classroom.

Note: I'm not implying students are babies. The video was just a metaphor.

Another Note: The video could also be a metaphor for the positive and negative effects of technology in the classroom.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Sookie Stackhouse Is a Dumb Ass

I like watching HBO’s True Blood on Sunday nights. The over-the-top nature of the show is right up my alley but, as much as this might offend some people, I think Sookie Stackhouse is a dumb ass.

I’ve thought about this in great length and have had open discussions around the Yellow House. Every other character on the show is fine. Some I like better than others, but every time Sookie talks it irritates me and leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Here are five reasons why I think Sookie sucks.

1.  She doesn’t tell people where she’s going.

There are numerous examples of when Sookie has ventured out alone unbeknownst to anyone else. One of the most recent was after the mass slaughter at Bellefleur’s Bar and Grill, formerly Merlotte’s. Sookie takes off down a dark, sketchy, overgrown path through the middle of the woods in a huff and doesn’t tell anyone she’s leaving. 

Of course Alcide, her werewolf boyfriend, calls her in a panic. When Sookie gets the call she stares at the phone, obviously trying to decide whether or not to take the call, and lets it ring three or four times. The volume of her ringer is so loud that any Hep-V vamp within a two-mile radius could hear it. 

The cherry on the cake is that instead of silencing her phone or answering it to let him know where she is, she throws it into the woods and then trips over a dead body. 
2.     She tried to give away her light.

The fact that she tried to shoot all her powers out of her palms is further proof that Sookie Stackhouse is a dumb ass.

For whatever reason, all these things are attracted to or obsessed with or want to eat her, so she decides the best way to protect herself is to throw away the one weapon she has against them. Uh-huh. Good thinking.

To be fair, she finally snapped out of it and stopped doing that, but the damage was done. She only has a limited amount of light, and she blew a big chunk of her load throwing a tantrum.

3.     Her plans are cockamamie.

Evidence of the jack-assery behind Sookie’s thinking can be found in every season of True Blood.

Her most recent scheme was to offer herself up as bait for the Hep-V vamps so they would take her back to their secret lair. Then Bill Compton, the only person who knows about this plan, and Alcide could track her scent and lead them to the rabid vampires who have captured Bon Temp residents Holly, Arlene, and whatever Sam’s new girlfriend’s name is, who also happens to be preggers.

To execute her plan, Sookie sits in the woods on a patch of grass and has Bill hide in a tree. 

Now, Sookie’s idea in itself is not that bad. It could work if Sookie wasn’t such a dumb ass.

For starters, Bill is the only one who knows about this plan. Sookie makes it clear that she wants her “scent” covered up so Alcide can’t track them. So the part of the plan that requires tracking her after she’s been captured is immediately crippled by her decision to hide her plan from one of a handful of people who can actually track her.

Also, she doesn’t consider that the Hep-V vamps could just eat her right there and not take her back to their lair. She’s supposed to smell like gummy bears or something, and they’re starving and facing almost certain death. After all, Jessica couldn’t stop herself from killing Andy’s daughters. Only a dumb ass would think that the Hep-V vamps would practice restraint with fairy blood.

If all this weren’t proof enough, add in that she completely overlooks the fact that there would be a good chance that Bill would get taken out somehow. 

Surely the Hep-V vamps would know Bill was there. I mean, he was close enough to have a conversation with her and see down her shirt. They would be able to sense his presence, and judging from the slaughter at Bellefleur’s, Sookie should have known that if they did find her, Bill would be outnumbered. 

So, of course, what happens when the Hep-V vamps show up because she cut her arm to hurry up the process? Bill gets overtaken because they had silver and were, surprise, prepared to fight other vampires.

Had the cavalry not miraculously shown up, Sookie would be right where the others are, dead or chained up in the basement of Fangtasia. Unfortunately help did show up, and in the rescue, Alcide got killed by an unrelated sniper in the woods.

That’s okay though because Sookie had just confessed to Bill that she was troubled with her relationship because she didn’t love Alcide as much as he loved her.  Now with Alcide out of the way, Sookie will be able to carry on with Bill without an overheated werewolf snipping at her heels.

4.     She thinks it’s all about her.

I know she’s the main character in the books the True Blood series is based on, but Sookie is downright selfish.

Sookie’s big reason for offering herself up as bait was because she didn’t want anyone to die because of her. Well, outside of Alcide, nobody is dying because of Sookie. They’re dying because the now dead, hate-mongering governor guy tried to exterminate vampires by putting a disease in True Blood. Sookie should know that.

If she were on a crusade to right a wrong she would need and want help, like the Cullens or even Harry Potter after he gets done with his weak protests about not wanting people to get hurt, but Sookie isn’t about righting injustices against mystical creatures. She’s about righting wrongs done to her.

Furthermore, she never thinks about her brother, Jason. How many messages has he left her? How many times has his life been in danger? Whenever the shit hits the fan, he’s always trying to call and find out where she is so he can try to rescue her. She can’t send him a text to let him know that she’s alive and to check to see if he’s alive?

This type of self-absorbed thinking is just another reason I can’t stand Sookie Stackhouse.
5.     She’s a drama queen.

The reason Sookie thinks it’s all about her is because she’s a drama queen and gets wrapped up in her own shit. When things get too boring or stagnant, she creates her own drama and then plays the victim. 

I’ve got no sympathy for drama queens.

I’m not bothered by the fact that Sookie sleeps with anything that has magical powers. Now, she didn’t sleep with Sam, but she tried to. She turned to him when she had no one, and had he not turned her down, she would have slept with him, too. 

Sleeping around is fine. What bothers me is she confuses sex for love. I mean, she was going to marry Warlow after, what, two dates? I’m surprised she’s not a lesbian with how quickly she gets into serious relationships.

Sookie’s Biggest Problem

Sookie uses people to feel less lonely because deep down she's uncomfortable with herself.

She always has to have a love interest cooking to verify that she’s desirable and worthy of love. The drama and attention from others makes her feel more alive because it distracts from much larger issues of self image and worth, but that doesn’t make her a dumb ass. That just makes her like a lot of other people in this world, and that's sad.   

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Epic Fail

The fear of failing is so strong in so many people that it cripples them from self-improvement. I, too, have fears of failing but I rarely shy away from going out on a limb simply because the limb might break once I get out there.

Others have to be coaxed out on the limb because they don’t want to hurt themselves. The degree of coaxing varies depending on the situation, the person, and the limb.

Some people never let go of the trunk while others only need a nudge or two to move farther out. For those who let fear of failure dominate your decisions, I have to ask: what is there to be afraid of?

I’ll get hurt physically, emotionally or financially?

That doesn’t scare me much because I’ve always thought, regardless of how successful I am just being alive brings the same possibilities.

Others will think I’m less than?

That doesn’t scare me much because I know I’m not. If anything I’m average, and that’s fine with me.

Others will laugh?

That doesn’t scare me much because I know the sting eventually goes away, and afterwards I can always say that I tried, which has been something I’ve valued since I was a kid.

Some people don’t try so that when others laugh at them they can claim the result was from a lack of effort rather than a character flaw. That “too cool for school” approach never made sense to me. Trying is far better than not trying, in my opinion, even if the result is unfavorable.

Others will think I’m dumb?

That doesn’t scare me much because I know I am, on a whole bunch of things, but someone smarter than me once wrote that knowing what you don’t know is the key to a whole life, so that’s always a pick-me-up. Plus, I feel pretty smart because I read that somewhere, once.

The Answers Are In the Question

The potential answers to these questions are what keep us from going out on a limb and giving life our best shot, which often creates the outcomes we were afraid would happen in the first place.

For those who want to conquer your fears but have no idea how to start, know there are many lessons we can learn when we fail.

Failing Is An Effective Teacher

Failure is the middle school teacher you hated but who also happened to be the one who taught you the most.

We need successes along the way to keep us motivated, but failure from time to time can be an awesome motivator and an enduring reminder of what not to do in the future.

If You Fall Get Back Up

For those who understand there is much to be learned from failing and are working every day to conquer your fears of failing, I applaud you and encourage you to keep at it.

Falling is scary, and depending on how high we are, the threat of falling can paralyze us or cause us to make poor decisions. Remember that sometimes the thought of falling can be more terrifying than the fall itself. Don’t let fear steal your courage.

If you’ve taken a big fall, try climbing small trees to boost your confidence and help keep you going forward until you can get back on the horse. With some practice and more confidence, you’ll soon be tackling the Red Woods again.

The Ground Level

For those who are so afraid of failure that you don’t climb trees, you must come to terms with the fact that you will never go higher than ground level.

To be clear, when it comes to self-improvement whether you stay at ground level or climb a thousand trees makes no difference to me. Just make sure that, if you do choose to stay at ground level, don’t stand under my tree and cast stones at my efforts. If my limb does break, it could very easily be you who cushions my fall.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I Have Not Abandoned My Blog

I have not abandoned my blog. It's been on a back burner, along with dozens of other writing projects I’m working on.

I did not make “blogging regularly” one of my New Year’s resolutions and, as a writer, I don’t feel bad for having not officially blogged in nearly four months.

I blog regularly, just not on my blog.

Since my last “official” blog entry I’ve written four feature stories for Vinyl, three product reviews for the BBB and the Dojo, over 20 stories about health and wellness, five scripts between Try New Things and MNN, a story about using a flint for Moose Tracks, two stories for the Mooseville Journal Record, and three Harmony CaPleur harmonica lessons.

After I squeeze in some weekly caption, poetry, contest, and blurb writing then toss in some lesson plans and assignments, it’s safe to say most of my days (and nights) are spent writing in some form or another.

What’s hard about writing for me is not the amount of time I spend doing it or how unbelievably difficult it is to create original, quality content on a regular basis. What’s hard about writing for me is that no matter how many pieces I finish, there’s always something else I want to write about.

This may be my last blog for a while. As much as I have sporadic thoughts and ideas about creativity and education, there is one project that’s been on my “to complete” list for far too long.

I’ve now posted something on my blog in 2014, signaling the end of yesteryear. Now it’s time to focus, young grasshopper, and may the odds be ever in my favor.